UNCW releases details for winter break and spring return

A+sign+on+UNCW%27s+campus+detailing+when+masks+should+be+worn.+

Kaylin Damico

A sign on UNCW’s campus detailing when masks should be worn.

Veronica Wernicke, News Editor

With the end of the semester only a few weeks away, UNC Wilmington (UNCW) is preparing for what the spring will look like as the coronavirus (COVID-19) is still prevalent in the US. On Nov. 6 Chancellor Jose V. Sartarelli sent out an email detailing the end of the semester and pre-spring preparations.  

On Nov. 6 New Hanover County reported four more deaths as a result of COVID-19 and urged residents to continue staying vigilant against the virus and to get tested as we head into the holiday season.  

“The highest daily count of COVID-19 cases in the United States, 106,537, was reported on Wednesday, November 4 and today, state health officials reported the highest daily count of COVID-19 cases in North Carolina at 2,908. Taking action to slow the spread of COVID-19 protects ourselves and others, and prevents additional measures restricting activities in New Hanover County,” the press release read. 

UNCW issued similar sentiments in their message.

“Students, if you are going home for the break, even for a short visit, connect with your families and/or friends to plan your trip. Get tested 3-4 days before you plan to depart at the end of the semester to reduce the chances of taking the virus home to parents, siblings and/or other family members and friends. If your result is positive, work with the Student Health Center for assistance.”

Faculty and staff are also encouraged to get tested prior to any holiday plans to help curb the spread of the virus among family and friends. 

Testing is available through a drive-in or walk-up location on campus until Nov. 24 as well as through the Student Health Center.  

Over the break, the university’s quarantine and isolation spaces will be kept open as needed. This is thanks in part due to the efforts of staff members from the Student Health Center, Campus Dining, Business Affairs and Student Affairs. 

“We plan to keep our quarantine and isolation spaces fully open as long as students need to be there. SHC staff will also work over break to assist the men’s and women’s basketball teams with COVID testing as required by the NCAA and the [email protected] email address and phone will be monitored over the break,” wrote Dr. Katrin Wesner-Harts, Interim Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs. 

Dr. Wesner-Harts also added that the student health center will be open until the end of the day on Dec. 23 and then reopen on Jan. 5 following the university’s winter break closure between those dates. 

During this period, a limited number of student health center staff will be working according to Dr. Wesner-Harts.

“Those that staff Galloway and those that need to come in for short amounts of time for the athletic testing,” wrote Dr. Wesner-Harts. 

Looking ahead to student’s return in the spring, residential students are expected to provide a negative COVID-19 test result three days before returning to campus. Students who test positive will be required to stay at home and isolate until they receive a negative test. Any student who does not take a test prior to their return will receive one during move-in. More details on this will be released soon. 

“Plans are being made for periodic surveillance testing during the spring semester as well. The Student Health Center will manage the testing, and we will provide more information once the process is finalized,” as stated in the email.

Regarding course modality, the spring semester will look similar to the fall with a mix of online, in-person and hybrid courses being offered. 

“Although we all long for a return to life as it was before the coronavirus pandemic, I am proud of how well our Seahawk community has responded to the many challenges we have endured. We have come this far, and with the Seahawk spirit, we can keep up the good work throughout the holidays and into the spring semester.”